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Kicked off Facebook: Why These 4 People Got the Boot

If British police get their way, rioting hooligans will soon be banned from using social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Blackberry Messenger. Senior officers met with each individual company following last summer’s riots to learn how perps use the networks to stir up trouble, and to find a way to ban them for violating the networks’ terms and conditions.

No word on whether this will actually happen or not, but it does raise some interesting questions. Other than general thuggery and shenanigans, what else can get you banned?

Adam Guerbuez

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This guy was fined over $1 billion for sending 4,366,386 spam messages to unsuspecting Facebook users. That’s $200 per spam, if you factor in the exchange rate. Not surprisingly, Guerbuez couldn’t afford to pay Facebook for his major violation of US electronic commerce laws, so he declared bankruptcy. Guebuez is banned from Facebook for life and has found himself a happy new home on Google+.

Mark S. Zuckerberg

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Indianapolis bankruptcy attorney, Mark S. Zuckerberg, had a heck of a time getting a Facebook account in the first place. He had to send in copies of his driver’s license, birth certificate and Bar Association license to prove he wasn’t an imposter, and when he finally got the thumbs up he was plagued by 500 friend requests a day and endless phone calls from Facebook users seeking customer support. After two years of fending off the masses, Facebook banned Mark S. Zuckerberg for using a fake name. Sigh. He’s back on now, and looks back on the whole debacle as free publicity. Facebook said sorry.

Robert Scoble

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Robert Scoble, American tech blogger and all-around web wizard, decided to test drive an unnamed script on Facebook. Facebook caught on, deactivated his account and sent a lovely letter outlining his suspicious activities and demanding an explanation. Apparently the script was just an address book importer, but to Facebook it violated their Terms of Use, and potentially state and federal laws. Scoble made such a stink online that Facebook backed off and reinstated his account after only a day.

Salman Rushdie

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Even world-famous, award-winning authors aren’t exempt from Facebook’s real-name policy. Facebook suspended Salman Rushdie’s account, possibly because they thought he was an imposter, but after Rushdie sent in a copy of his passport to verify his existence, the reactivated account was in the name of Ahmed Rushdie, which is the author’s first name. Not pleased, Rushdie took the issue to his 10,000 Twitter followers:

“Dear #Facebook, forcing me to change my FB name from Salman to Ahmed Rushdie is like forcing J. Edgar to become John Hoover. Or, if F. Scott Fitzgerald was on #Facebook, would they force him to be Francis Fitzgerald? What about F. Murray Abraham?”

Facebook buckled under the pressure and allowed Rushdie to once again use his middle name.

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